USC Basketball vs. Texas A&M score, summary: Trojans fall to Aggies

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: De'Anthony Melton
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 08: De'Anthony Melton /

Texas A&M ended USC Basketball’s 21-game conference winning streak, downing the cold-shooting Trojans, 75-59, at the Galen Center on Sunday night.

The lowdown:

Texas A&M opened the game on a 5-0 run, but the Trojans answered with Chimezie Metu’s layup and Jordan McLaughlin’s three-pointer to catch back up.

Later, McLaughlin dished an alley-oop to Metu, who slammed home a reverse dunk, sending the Galen Center crowd to their feet.

With the game at 10-7 in favor of USC, the Aggies put together 10-0 run before Nick Rakocevic’s tip-in stemmed the bleeding.

Derryck Thornton came alive from off the bench, converting a three-point play as he was fouled on a layup attempt, then forced an airball on the other end defending TJ Starks.

Still, USC’s attempts to cut into Texas A&M’s lead fell short midway through the first half.

Trailing 28-21, Elijah Stewart provided a spark with his first made three-point attempt, then a steal on the other end, but the Trojans’ shooting woes continued.

A second alley-oop slam from McLaughlin to Metu drew USC within two points with four minutes to play. However, the Aggies scored the next six points to restore their cushion while USC fans in the crowd fumed over a charge call against Jonah Mathews on what looked like a basket and foul.

Rakocevic’s offense in the paint helped keep the Trojans in it, but they entered halftime trailing 38-31.

The second half opened with a monster Metu slam before a Stewart triple drew USC within two points of their opponent.

When the Trojans did finally tie it up, it wasn’t on their multi-possession trip down the court featuring two McLaughlin free throw misses, a Stewart three-point miss and a Metu travel, but on a fastbreak led by Thornton, who dished to Metu for a slam dunk.

However, Texas A&M quickly restored their lead at 46-42 as both teams struggled with turnovers, fouls and sloppy play.

It only got worse for the Trojans as the Aggies ripped off an 11-0 run to take a commanding 61-45 with eight minutes left.

Bennie Boatwright, who had been held scoreless through three quarters of the game, finally got on the board with a pair of free throws before hitting a big three pointer as USC worked to climb back out of the hole.

Unfortunately for the Trojans, the hole was too deep and the big shots which might have helped them erase the deficit all seemed to hit the rim.

By the numbers:

  • USC shot 28.2 percent from the field, while Texas A&M shot 44.3 percent.
  • Boatwright scored his first points, from the free throw line, with 8:16 left in the game. He hit his first shot from the field with 7:46 left.
  • Rakocevic led USC with 11 points in the first half, but he was held scoreless in the second.
  • USC attempted 27 three point shots, 10 more than the Aggies, and hit just seven, two more than the Aggies.
  • Texas A&M out-rebounded USC 52-to-39.
  • The Trojans lost their first non-conference game since 2015. They had a 21-game winning streak out of conference going into the game with Texas A&M.

Player of the game: DJ Hogg, who led Texas A&M with 15 points.

Next on tap: The Trojans will travel to take on the SMU Mustangs on Dec. 2.